After nearly thirty years at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, our Discovery Garden was in need of renovation. Our proudest accomplishment is a hardscape pathway, which provides easier and safer access to those with disabilities and assists in nutrient load reductions to water resources. Other renovation phases include: a gazebo and shade structure upgrade, hardscape edging around our perennial bed garden, educational signage, along with project funding partners and donor signage, and new perimeter fencing. An urban conservation project continues in our Native Perennial garden where we introduced rain garden plant materials to further reduce our nutrient load and runoff.
The significance and value of this renovation project is the unique opportunity to educate tens of thousands of people on new ways to manage rainfall, reduce runoff and pollutant delivery to receiving waters with permeable pavement and how the home gardener may adopt this practice. The pathway materials offer an opportunity to educate the home gardener on how to use recyclable and plant- based materials for their pathways.